CanI change the locks if Isubletted to a guy who has breached the lease?

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CanI change the locks if Isubletted to a guy who has breached the lease?

He agreed no alcohol or drugs but there are empty alcohol bottles all over my apartment. I served him notice to quit. He has no proof of living here – not on the lease, no bills, no mail here.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not change the locks--if you do, you will be engaging in an illegal eviction and could be liable to your subtenant.

That does not mean you can't evict him for a reach of the lease--you can--but all evictions must be done through the legal system and courts.

Also, you can't evict him for no alcohol unless that was in the lease and agreed to at the time of signing. Once the lease is entered into, the landlord may not add additional terms, conditions, or requirements. So you might not be in a position to evict, unless this really is a lease violation, and not a violation of some other promise he made to you or discussion the two of you had.

Note that if there is no written lease, he is a month to month tenant, and you may give him 30 days notice terminating the tenancy and then evict him if he does not leave.


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